Post Views: 161 The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), on Sunday evening, decried attempts to mud-sling its governor- Godwin Emefiele by some faceless per...
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), on Sunday evening, decried attempts to mud-sling its governor- Godwin Emefiele by some faceless persons through a doctored audio recording alluding to fraud in the organization.
A statement by Isaac Okorafor, spokesman of the apex bank, lamented that the audio recording of a meeting amongst Emefiele, one of his deputies and some Senior Officials, and that contrary to insinuation of a discussion about missing or stolen money in the apex bank, Okorafor said it “was simply to proffer solutions to a misunderstanding that affected the bank’s balance sheet.”
To make the doctored tape look authentic, he said the beginnings of the tape “was omitted to create a different impression.”
Vouching for governor’s integrity and insisting that no monies are missing or stolen, the apex bank’s spokesman assured that the CBN under Emefiele, who has been nominated for a second and final term of five years by President Muhammadu Buhari, has “always stood for and vigorously pursued transparency in its stewardship of public resources and policies.
“The integrity of the CBN Governor remains unassailable. He has no account in Dubai or anywhere in the world and would never convert the funds of CBN for personal use. Not in the past, not now and not ever.
“The use of selective wiretapped conversations of the Bank’s Management, to malign his character and integrity will never stand. The Bank will pursue every legal means to bring the perpetrators to justice.”
Continuing, Okorafor said “those who listened to the audio can easily ascertain that the conversation had nothing to do with anything fraudulent as purported. The Bank, therefore, urges all well-meaning Nigerians to disregard this audio and continue to trust that the Bank is doing everything it can to represent their interests in the best possible way.
Explaining the need for the meeting, the statement recalled that “the CBN was approached in 2015 by the National Economic Management Team and the National Economic Council (NEC), chaired by the Vice President, to assist State Governments with Conditional Budget Support, in the aftermath of the significant nose-dive in global oil prices and associated FAAC allocations.
“In order to ensure that ordinary Nigerian workers got their salaries, pensions, and gratuities and that the economy continued to recover from recession, the Bank provided about N650 billion in loans at 9% with a two-year grace period to 35 States of the Federation. These monies were distributed to the States monthly with documented approval of the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Presidency.
“In closing the Bank’s 2018 accounts, external auditors in their Draft Account erroneously classified about N150 billion of these loans as bad, which negatively affected the Bank’s Balance Sheet and shareholders fund. The selective conversation being circulated was simply a discussion to ascertain why the auditors took that position and next steps to resolve it.
“Obviously, it soon became clear that a State Government loan cannot be classified as “bad” or “irrecoverable” when the State still exists and getting FAAC allocations. The bank then reached out to the Federal Ministry of Finance and they jointly gave comfort to the auditors who accepted in writing that these monies would be repaid. On this basis, the auditors reversed the negative entry and the certified that the CBN’s 2018 accounts were a true reflection of the State of Affairs.”
Okorafor explained that reconciliation of balance sheet items are regular conversations amongst Senior Management of many agencies and should not be misconstrued as anything else, adding that if the online newspaper which released the selective recordings sought clarifications from the CBN, such would have been provided.